True love is what brought Tiger Mottle to the good people of Paddington. A former Allpress barista, owner Peter Henderson moved here from New Zealand to be with his partner, eventually setting up shop in Five Ways.
Tiger Mottle refers to the ‘mottled' surface of a perfect espresso extraction, which pretty much sums up this little Paddington local. A restored terrace, the café is all sleek white interiors while the front wall is decorated with a row of retro vinyl covers over a smart coffee bar. The wood-cut moose head above the working fireplace is a clever touch - witty and pretty at the same time.
Coffee is roasted by the Golden Cobra, who have also roasted for Campos. Tiger Mottle use a double ristretto as their base coffee - a style of pouring that involves a finer grind and more volume, but poured for the same length as a single shot espresso. This method brings out the sweet oils for a richer flavour, showcased best in the cafe's maple mottle - a shot of maple syrup, double ristretto and a sprinkling of chilli and cream on top.
New takes on old favourites rule here. Coconut pancakes are crisp and light, served with ricotta, maple syrup and bananas. A tart burst of strawberries keep them from being too sweet. Gingerbread makes for a lovely late afternoon snack - it's toasted and slightly thinner than your average café banana bread. A side of maple yoghurt is optional (as is Nutella) but the yoghurt cleverly tempers the richness of ginger so you can just keep on eating. Bubble and squeak is another local favourite and will keep the hungry wolves at bay long into your morning.
Mottle iced coffee is a tall, cool, potent mix of coffee with lots and lots of ice cream. For an iced coffee it has a surprisingly long finish, with sweet undertones of chocolate. House-made muffins are turned out twice a day, including apple and cinnamon, or coconut with mixed berry and dark chocolate. Breads are from Brasserie Bread, but relishes and aioli are house made, along with their caramelised onion jam.
Having been open for around 18 months, this little café has gained quite a following; coffee lovers are driving in from surrounding suburbs and holding business meetings over lunch here. With such fine coffee and a beautiful room that feels more restaurant than café, it's easy to see why.